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Trump Administration Continues Ongoing Assault on Clean Air and Public Health

WASHINGTON - Today, Ryan Zinke’s Department of the Interior released its final rule effectively eliminating a key safeguard that would limit methane pollution and other harmful emissions from oil and gas drilling operations on public lands.

Methane is a greenhouse gas that is 87 times more potent than carbon dioxide during the time it remains in the atmosphere. The standard that Zinke now seeks to eliminate would also reduce ozone-forming pollutants that aggravate lung and heart ailments and can lead to as asthma attacks and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, as well as hazardous pollutants such as benzene, a known carcinogen.

The announcement comes on the heels of a proposal released by the Environmental Protection Agency last week weakening another Obama-era protection on methane pollution.
In response, Lena Moffitt, Senior Director of the Sierra Club's Our Wild America campaign, released the following statement:
“Today’s announcement is just a continuation of this administration’s ongoing assault on clean air, public lands, our health, and our climate. Millions of Americans and diverse stakeholders weighed in when this commonsense standard was developed, and the only people who want to see it weakened are fossil fuel industry executives who don’t want to be held accountable for the threats their outdated and reckless practices pose to the public. We've already successfully defended these protections in court and in Congress, and the fight won't stop here.”

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The Sierra Club is the oldest and largest grassroots environmental organization in the United States. It was founded on May 28, 1892 in San Francisco, California by the well-known conservationist and preservationist John Muir, who became its first president. The Sierra Club has hundreds of thousands of members in chapters located throughout the US, and is affiliated with Sierra Club Canada.

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